Yesterday, I posted a vlog to my YouTube channel called “Don’t Talk About Book Club | What I’ll be Reading in January 📚”. It talked about how I have set a goal around reading (or listening to) two books per month in 2020.
I have had issues with reading for a while now. Not that I can’t read, or have trouble actually doing the act of reading, but that I lack the motivation to actually pick up several different books throughout the year, and read them. That’s the entire reason why I set this goal.
However, this morning, I woke up and started browsing Twitter, as I sometimes do when I first wake up, and I saw a tweet from a former coworker that really struck me. They have a reading goal of their own, but it’s less than the one I set (that’s fine), and the reason they give is essentially that when they’ve set higher goals in the past it hasn’t worked for them, and they want their goal to be achievable this year. As they put it: “realistic baby steps”.
I’m sure it’s simply a coincidence that this person tweeted this at the same time I released my 2020 goals post, and a YouTube video centered around my January reading goals, but it really got me thinking – even though it’s only the third day of the year – if the goals I’ve set out for 2020 are unachievable.
I want to do a lot of things in 2020. I want to make a lot of changes in my life, and begin living a life that is productive, and more inline with how I used to live when I was younger (now if only I could move back to my hometown and go back to the innocence of adolescence, where one doesn’t have to concern themselves with the stressors of being an adult). I want to set a lofty goal around reading, because it’s something I know I don’t do enough of. And sure, one book per month would probably have been a better place to start, but half of the time I’m listening to audiobooks, and they go much faster than actual reading does, for me. So I decided on two – with an unspoken side goal that at least some of those would be actual physical copies.
As for the rest of my goals – I have put a lot of thought into them over the last few months, or even the last year. YouTube, for instance, is a goal I’ve had since before I graduated High School. It’s simply been a matter of getting the courage to sit down and record a video, and push upload. To start, I’m not focusing on having the perfect setup. I haven’t been using my DSLR (though I hope to get setup with that over the weekend), and I haven’t yet setup the new ring light (cringe, I know), that was delivered yesterday. I’ve been shooting iPhone videos while sitting in my bed, trying to muffle out the sounds of Dora the Explorer coming from my daughter’s room. It’s not perfect. But it’s a start, and gosh darn it, that’s good enough for me.
So: Do I Set Unachievable Goals?
Yeah, probably. If my past is anything to go by, YouTube might not last past January (my Daily Vlog stretch in 2015 lasted 10 days). I may not complete 1000+ hours of training (you try doing 20 hours of training a week on top of a full time job). I may not have any extra time to get in touch with my spiritual side (though, if I am honest, this is probably the most important one, from a person wellbeing standpoint). I might fall short on all of my goals, but that’s okay. In my mind, by setting lofty goals, and having high expectations of myself, even if I fail, I’m at least (ideally) failing forward.
My way of doing things, and my method of resolution setting is not for everyone. I would probably do well to heed my former coworkers advice and take “realistic baby steps”, but that’s never been the type of person I am. That’s okay. If you are that type of person, that’s okay too. Honestly, it’s probably better. And we’ll all reach our goals in our own time.
I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings for each and every one of us, and I hope we are all able to reach at least some of our goals this year. And if not, that’s fine. But always aim to fail forward.
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